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Linux Magazine: What Linux Needs to Become More Than Just a Player in the Multimedia World

Jun 23, 2000, 08:55 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Compton)

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"A couple of weeks ago, I attended a major book industry expo, and chanced upon a booth for the No Starch Press publishing house. As I browsed through their Linux titles a very nice publicist started pushing their upcoming book, Linux Music & Sound, on me. Linux music and sound? I did a double-take. The shock wasn't because I'm completely skeptical about Linux as a platform for creating music and sound, it's just that I'm still smarting from experiences struggling with OSS (Open Sound System) and anything other than a plain-Jane Sound Blaster AWE64 or earlier. And I don't think I'm alone. Many of the "install/configure" Linux books I've read and reviewed are conspicuously light in the audio section simply because if the installation goes south, it's very difficult to describe the fixes."

"Looking at the software landscape, it's clear that Linux needs quite a few fundamental improvements before it can be considered a legitimate player in the audiovisual arts industry. We've got Flash players and RealNetworks has finally seen fit to catch Linux development up with the rest of their supported platforms, and these are good things, but they don't do much for the creative side. Yes, there is The GIMP, a truly excellent still-image program, but one battle does not win the war...."

"The thing to remember about digital artists is that while some are hard-core hacker types who don't mind applying kernel patches and editing scripts, many find the concept completely alien. There's a reason the Mac is so successful among creative types, and it's not just the translucent plastic."

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